The MQ-9 “Reaper” offers the United States Air Force an dangerous, remotely-guided weapon designed for very accurate engagement. Looking very much like the first Predator arrangement of UAV’s, the Reaper is actually the big brother sporting more power, especially when you look at its power plant and weapons delivery capacities. The RQ-1/MQ-1 “Predator” (Predator A) will be a Gen-1 Predator UAV, beginning life as an unarmed reconnaissance vehicle (RQ-1) and just being weaponized later in her life (turning into the MQ-1). The MQ-9 “Reaper” (Predator B) was a formidable upgrade to the series, providing a better armed surveillance platform with improved execution abilities in a bigger airframe. The MQ-9 framework is completely mobile and can disassemble in sections for transport in a Lockheed C-130 vehicle. The fundamental outline of the pilot-less airplane still takes into account takeoff and landings to happen on any given runway.
The MQ-9 Reaper is a dangerous military drone aircraft that was accepted into administration in 2004 to assume a key role in the United States’ “War on Terrorism”. The Reaper is equipped for movement and delivery of ammunition from two outer hard points with anti-tank Hellfire missiles and the GBU-12 and GBU-38 arrangement of JDAM bombs. Fundamentally, the Reaper is termed a “hunter/killer” framework, just as fit for working in the stratosphere as a continuous surveillance drone and having the capacity to engage any target as required. Imaging is refined through increased TV, daylight TV and IR sensor cameras alongside a laser rangefinder that serves as a laser designator for the direct-guided JDAM weapons.
Operation of a MQ-9 Reaper is refined through a progression of on-the-ground bolster vehicles and hardware stations. A solitary qualified pilot flies the Reaper through joystick control, watching the movement through a nose-mounted cam and other in-flight data frameworks. At the very center of any UAV project is this capacity to keep pilots danger free from all hostile activity.
At the time of writing (2015), there are 104 samples of the MQ-9 Reaper fully operational, all controlled by the United States Air Force. The MQ-9 will soon be superseded by the bigger, jet powered, stealthy Avenger (Predator C) arrangement of battle UAV.
On February 2, 2011, the U.S. DoD unveiled an acquirement contract with General Atomics Aeronautical Systems of Poway, California for an extra 24 MQ-9 Reaper vehicles for a cool $148,255,502 USD.
On October 17th, 2011, the US DoD reported an acquirement contract with General Atomics for two MQ-9 Reaper UAV vehicles, three LYNX Block 30 radars and an extra motor to the Italian Air Force at a cost of $15,053,962.
In November of 2013 the Netherlands arranged an order of 4 Reapers to be delivered by 2017. The Dutch join France, Italy, the UK and the US as operators of the Reaper line.
In February of 2015 it was declared that General Atomics had won a $279,144,933 contract for twenty-four MQ-9 Block 5 Reaper. The work is to be performed at Poway, California should be finished by September 30th, 2017.